Best Saints By The Numbers: #28
All summer long, we’re going to list the best players in New Orleans Saints history to wear every number, 00-99.
The pick: Gene Atkins
When deciding who is the best New Orleans Saints player to ever wear #28, the choice is limited to running backs Don Shy, David Ford, Alvin Maxson, Troy Davis, Curtis Keaton, and Anthony Davis, and defensive backs Ross Fichtner, Bill Hurley, Greg Harding, Gene Atkins, Derrick Hoskins, Chris Oldham, Deveron Harper, Sideeq Shabazz, DeJuan Groce, Keenan Lewis, and Usama Young.
The pick, in a couple of years, is likely to be Lewis, who has been outstanding in his two years for the Saints, but for now, we're going with Atkins, a safety, who played with the Saints for seven seasons, from 1987-1993.
After finishing his college career at Florida A&M, Atkins was selected by the Saints in the seventh round of the 1987 NFL Draft.
A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Atkins started eight games over his first two seasons, before becoming a full-time starting safety in 1989.
In seven seasons with the Saints, covering 107 games, Atkins accumulated 21 interceptions, which ranks fourth in franchise history, to go along with 11 forced fumbles, and 13 fumble recoveries.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Atkins left the Saints following the 1993 season and signed with the Miami Dolphins, where he played for three seasons, before retiring following the 1996 season.
Atkins, in 10 NFL seasons, compiled 25 interceptions, 15 forced fumbles, and 14 fumble recoveries.
The father of Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Geno Atkins, Atkins was featured in an "HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" report, which said that Atkins is suffering from the early stages of dementia, after suffering numerous head injuries during his career.